Blog about the Applicant Tracking Industry SEO and HR

Ask any marketer about search engine optimization and they gladly go to into a dissertation on its benefits. Although marketing is talking purely about sales leads to the website, the same principles can be applied to attracting applicants to positions. Below is a quick guide to SEO and how you can apply it your recruiting process.

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
According to Wikipedia: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (”organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In “English”, this means that you attract people/applicants to your website for free.

How does SEO apply to Human Resources (HR)?
Recruiters can apply SEO techniques to job openings to increase awareness and distribution of job openings WITHOUT paying any job posting charges. Applicants can find search engine optimized job openings by simply going to a search engine entering keywords. Try going to and run a search for a position at your company. Does your opening appear?

What are the benefits of optimizing my job openings?
By applying SEO techniques to your career portal, you can reduce your spend on paid job boards while increasing your online exposure. The more “optimized” your job openings are, the higher they will be listed on the search results.

Are my job openings optimized?
Go to and search for an opening at your company. Although your opening might not appear on the first page of the results, it should appear somewhere. If you do not see your opening, or need a little assistance, please contact us and our SEO Specialist will review your career site.

Views: 121

Comment by Doug Kerken on August 6, 2009 at 4:06pm
My thoughts exactly Julia. Great Post. Everyone in HR should be thinking like us :)
Comment by Jonathan Duarte on August 7, 2009 at 12:21pm
Thanks for the post about SEO.

As an SEO practictioner there are a couple of points that should be clarified about and SEO campaign.

First. SEO will not drive much traffic or job seekers for individual job posting pages. You can't just post a job on your career site and expect that it will show up in google.

There are several reasons for this, but the biggest reasons being the following:
1. Google and the search engines like pages that have authority - web pages that are linked to from other pages and have been around for a while.
2. Individual job postings usually come and go too quickly to be old enogh to get indexed.
3. Individual job postings usually do not have external hyperlinks pointing to these pages, which are critical for rankings.

If the goal is to drive qualified job seeker traffic to the job postings, by simply posting the job on your corporate career site, there are several ways to do this, but for the most part, only a 3rd party vendor is going to be able to help. In most cases, ATS systems are not doing the following:
1. Create individual "category" and "location" specific landing pages that are indexed, promoted, and linked to from several other sites (back linked). These pages are called landing pages, and they are search engine optimized, not the individual job pages. These pages will then be dynamically updated from any new postings on your corporate career site. These landing pages are also long lasting, they live on, even when individual jobs come and go.
2. SEO, by itself, is just part of an over all Search Engine Marketing campaign (SEM) campaign. SEO will bring in candidates, and will build a community of potential job seekers, but SEM can drive immediate applicants. SEM can be a combination of promoting the jobs through any of the 20+ job aggregator sites, plus and paid aggregator sites. These are usually a better more targeted approach then using sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, because the aggregators have already done the work of filtering down the traffic specifically to job seekers, therefore the ROI of the campaign is usually much greater (usually 50% or more). If the paid and free aggregator strategy is working, but you need even more volume, or targeted candidates, you can then implement a pay-per-click (ppc) campaign with Yahoo, Google, or Bing.

I hope this helps to clarify the SEO for individual jobs, versus SEO for Landing pages that get ranked.

Jonathan Duarte
Comment by Julia on August 7, 2009 at 1:58pm

Thank you for your comment. Please check out for an example career site that we provide to clients with the category landing pages you suggested. I would love to have a private conversation about this further.


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